The Effects of Music Therapy in Patients With High-dose Chemotherapy and Stem Cell Support: A Randomized Pilot Study






OBJECTIVE: Patients with high dose chemotherapy (HDC) with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) are highly distressed. Psycho-oncological support might be beneficial but is not routinely provided. Our aim was to investigate whether music therapy (MT) in addition to standard supportive treatment had any effect on quality of life, depression, anxiety, side effects of therapy, medication, and immunological changes during and within three months after HDC plus ASCT.METHODS: Patients (n = 66) with HDC plus ASCT were randomly assigned to either MT (Intervention Group = IG) or standard supportive treatment (Control Group = CG). Quality of life was measured by EORTC QLQ-C30. Depression and anxiety were measured by the HADS-D before transplantation, during and after the inpatient stay. In addition, adverse events (AE), medication, and immunological parameters were observed.RESULTS: There was no improvement of global quality of life for patients receiving additional MT, but their perception of pain significantly changed (p = 0.027). Patients were neither depressed nor anxious on admission, therefore no improvements were found. IG patients had less 3-4° toxicities (e.g., mucositis). Aprepitant for antiemetic therapy was administered significantly more often in the CG (p = 0.040). The IgA decline and T4 count was less in IG, T8, and NK count decreased most in IG. These findings failed significance.CONCLUSIONS: MT may improve pain perception in patients receiving HDC plus ASCT. Additionally positive effects on toxicities, use of antiemetic medication, and immunological changes were observed. As some of these findings failed significance, studies with larger sample sizes are needed. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Adverse Effects; Anxiety; Anxiety Scales; Cancer; Chemotherapy; Critically Ill; Depression; Hospital Setting; Hospitalized Patients; Invasive Medical Procedures; Medication Use; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Nausea; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Pain Score or Rating; Procedural Pain; Quality of Life; Recorded Music Listening; Self-Report Measures; Stem Cell Transplantation

Indexed Terms

EMBASE keywords; anemia; anxiety; autologous stem cell transplantation; cancer chemotherapy; CD4 lymphocyte count; CD8 lymphocyte count; controlled study; depression; diarrhea; drug megadose; Hodgkin disease; Hodgkin disease; human; hypokalemia; infection; leukemia; leukemia; liver toxicity; loss of appetite; lymphocyte count; major clinical study; mucosa inflammation; mucosa inflammation; multiple myeloma; multiple myeloma; natural killer cell count; nausea; neutropenia; nociception; nonhodgkin lymphoma; nonhodgkin lymphoma; pain; pain; pilot study; quality of life; randomized controlled trial; testis cancer; testis cancer; thrombocytopenia; vomiting; weakness; antineoplastic agent; antineoplastic agent; antineoplastic agent; aprepitant; immunoglobulin A; Elderly; Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols; Combined Modality Therapy; Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation; Pilot Projects; Quality of Life; Transplantation, Autologous; Neoplasms

Study Type

Randomized Controlled Trial; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


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